Prevention is better than cure and far cheaper
The San Francisco Association for
the Study and Prevention of
1547 JACKSON STREET
Between Polk and Larlcin
PHONE FRANKLIN 3293
Tuberculosis is one of the most widely spread diseases that affects
humanity. Consumption is tuberculosis of the lungs. In the City
of San Francisco consumption causes 15 per cent of all deaths, 859
persons dying of this disease in the year 1910.
The relation of deaths from it to those from the two next most
prevalent contagious diseases, and their relative power for robbing
the State of happiness and wealth is expressed partially by these
Tuberculosis of the Lungs, 859 deaths in San Francisco, 1910.
— — Typhoid Fever, 68 deaths in San Francisco, 1910.
-^— — Diphtheria, 38 deaths in San Francisco, 1910.
Be careful to avoid tuberculosis-infected air and houses as you
are water and milk contaminated by typhoid germs.
Consumption causes one death in every three occurring between
the ages of twenty and. forty. Thus it finds most of its victims at
the active working age, and carries off young men and women just
entering upon the serious work of life, fathers and mothers of
families, bread-winners and citizens at their most useful period.
Consumption is more prevalent in certain climates and among
certain races, but it spares no nation, no age, no occupation, no
class of people.
Consumption is a preventable and a curable disease.
Consumption can be prevented. It can be cured, if taken in time.
It is not necessary to leave San Francisco to be cured. All autho-
rities now subscribe to the views advanced by Hippocrates, the
father of medicine, who lived 460-377 B. C, viz., "If the patient
(consumptive) is treated from the beginning he will get well."
NATURE OF THE DISEASE.
The cause of tuberculosis is a living germ — a tiny plant which
can be seen only through the microscope.
This germ, called bacillus tuberculosis, usually gets into the body
by way of the mouth, when we are improperly using it, instead of
the nose, to breathe through, or when we put something into our
mouths which is contaminated through previous use by a con-
Tuberculosis germs most "frequently lodge in the air-passages of
the lungs. They may also get into the glands of the neck, attack
the throat, the bowels, kidneys, brain or other organs, or the bones
or joints. It is always the same germ working in the same way to
destroy different tissues. If the workings of the germs are not
stopped, the capacity of the lungs and other organs to do their work
is gradually reduced until death results.
If it were not for the power that vigorous people, living healthy
lives, possess to resist disease in general, it is probable that con-
sumption would kill off whole communities. It is hardly possible
that any single inhabitant of a city, where many have consumption,
could entirely escape breathing into his lungs some living germs of
the disease. Fortunately in the fresh air and sunshine these germs
live only a short time, while in an ordinary room kept dark and close
they may live months or even years.
In the organs of the body when the germs are not killed imme-
diately they produce little lumps called tubercles. In the lungs
these grow, soften, break open and are expelled by coughing or
otherwise. An ulcer or cavity containing many of the disease
germs is left behind. In cure, nature builds a wall of -scar tissues
about the tubercle or cavity. This wall becomes gradually thicker
and thicker, growing towards the center until nothing is left but a
scar. This means perfect cure.
Until the scar tissue has thoroughly choked out the bacilli, it may
break down at any time, leaving the bacilli free to continue their
action at that place; then a relapse ensues.
Many will be comforted to know that the disease is not inherited,
as it was long thought to be. The children of parents who are
consumptive or otherwise run down and weakened, frequently
inherit narrow chests, a low vitality, or generally poor physique.
If they are not especially cared for and protected against infection
they are very likely to get the disease. Such children, and persons
who are regaining health and strength after illness, or who are
engaged in dusty work, should guard and build up their health
systematically and persistently. President Roosevelt is a prominent
example of one who developed a poor physique into an exceptionally
The cases of so-called "hereditary consumption" are due to the
disease being transmitted from one afflicted member of the family
to another, either directly through personal contact, or through the
medium of dirt and dust in the infected rooms.
THE DANGER OF CARELESS SPITTING.
"No one in health spits." — Dr. Flick.
Except when one gets something nasty, like an insect or tobacco
in the mouth, this is true. Many get into the habit of spitting and
so wasting the saliva, which is meant to keep the mouth clean and
to aid in digestion. Do not spit unnecessarily. When it is neces-
sary, spit into a spittoon, a spit-flask, a cloth or paper that can be
burned. Less safe than these, but far better than the floor or side-
walk, is the gutter. Remember that while your spit may be only
nasty and not dangerous, some one else who has a contagious disease
that is commonly spread in this way, such as tuberculosis or
diphtheria, is likely to follow your example.
If women should spit as commonly as men do, how noticeable and
disgusting it would be !
The consumptive in himself is almost harmless. He becomes harm-
ful usually through bad habits, which are due, as a rule to ignorance.
The consumptive at home or who walks about, works in offices or
shops, will not transmit his disease to those with whom he comes in
contact if he takes proper care of his spit.
THE VALUE OF FRESH AIR.
The value of fresh air cannot be overestimated. Fresh air con-
tains much oxygen ; bad air very little. Blood is made red and pure
by breathing in the oxygen of fresh air. New body tissue is built
out of such blood. It makes the muscles active and the brain quick.
Therefore do not work or sleep where there is no fresh air. Do not
stay in a theater, church, or other meeting place where your lungs
are starved and poisoned for want of it. Breathe through your
nose. That is what it is for. It smells bad air and so warns you.
It filters out the dust and germs from the air breathed through it.
The mouth has no filter for air, so those who breathe through it load
their lungs with dirt and are more apt to get sick.
CONDITIONS FAVORING THE SPREAD OF
It has been found that the vast majority of those infected are
persons who have lived unhj^gienic lives, or who are compelled, in
order to gain a livelihood, to work amidst unhealthful surround-
ings, or too long hours. Healthy persons, living a proper life, when
infected, frequently get over the disease so easily that they do not
even know that they had it.
Overcrowded, poorly ventilated houses, offices and workshops,
inactive occupations with lack of regular exercise in the fresh air,
trades causing much dust which, irritating the lungs, produce a
condition favorable to the growth of the germ. Continued ex-
haustion from overwork, poor food and insufficient clothing,
uncleanness, and especially intemperance, are all factors in pre-
disposing persons to consumption ; but it must be remembered that
nothing can actually cause consumption except the entrance of the
germ into the body. Consumption is common in persons living
indoors and where thore is not enough fresh air. It is rare among
those living out of doors and sleeping in rooms well supplied with
No matter where the germs are, on floors, sidewalks, cars, on
clothing or dishes, they are helped to live by dirt, dampness and
darkness. On the other hand, sunshine, pure air and cleanliness are
most valuable means of resisting and destroying the infection and
preventing the disease. Keep your premises clean. Have a
thorough spring and fall house-cleaning every year.
Houses and rooms occupied by consumptives often become so
infected with its germs that healthy persons afterwards occupying
them often get consumption. Such rooms should, therefore, be dis-
infected and renovated before being used again.
In San Francisco there are many houses which have had cases of
tuberculosis in succession. Such houses may fairly be said to be
seats of infection and will probably continue to give consumption
to their tenants until thoroughly disinfected and renovated.
The only sure way of preventing the infection of premises or other
persons directly is to carefully put all the germ-filled sputum out of
harm's way by burning it.
Do not dread being near a careful, clean consumptive. Do not
regard this disease as contagious to the same extent as small -pox,
diphtheria or scarlet fever. Much harm has been done through
unwarranted fear of the consumptive, which has caused him to be
avoided as a leper. Consumptives are only a source of danger
through discharges from diseased tissues — chiefly the sputum,
usually called spit — and if these are destroyed, ordinary contact
with consumptive patients is practically free from danger.
It has been proved that there is no infection in the ordinary
breath of a consumptive. But the mouth should always be covered
with a handkerchief or paper to catch the dangerous spray when
coughing or sneezing.
CONSUMPTION IS CURABLE.
Consumption is curable when wise treatment is begun early.
The first symptoms of the disease may be loss of appetite and
steady loss of weight, fatigue on slight exertion, general feeling of
langour, lack of energy and ambition, rapid pulse, fever in the
afternoon and evening, and a cough which is most noticeable in the
morning. The cough may have existed for months with no evident
injury to the general health; a slight, hacking cough, usually worse
in the morning, may have occasioned so little annoyance, that the
patient will deny having a cough at all or will remember it only
after careful questioning. Consumption often follows pneumonia,
"grip," measles, and whooping cough.
As the disease progresses the symptoms become more distinctive.
The evident wasting, the daily fever, the flushed cheeks, the night
sweats and the continued cough and spitting, and determination
that there are bacilli in the sputum indicate definitely the presence
of the disease.
Bleeding from the lungs is a common symptom of consumption
and often the first one noticed.
Any or all of these symptoms should cause the patient to seek at
once the most competent medical advice. The local Board of
Health make examinations of sputum without charge.
The best treatment is out-door life, rest and plenty of good food
under careful and constant medical supervision. This can be much
better carried out at a sanatorium than at home, while going away
"into the country to board" without competent and detailed medical
supervision is not advisable.
The San Francisco Association for the Study
and Prevention of Tuberculosis
located at 1547 Jackson Street, between Polk and Larkin Streets,
was organized in 1908.
Clinics for worthy patients are held every morning from 8 :30 to
10 a. m., and every Monday evening from 7 to 8 p. m.
Our nurses visit the homes of patients and investigate the social
conditions of the family, noting sun exposure, cubic air space, dis-
posal of sputum, and facilities for outdoor treatment.
To do all these things, we need money; for the success of the
crusade against tuberculosis depends upon the financial aid it
Do your share by becoming a member of this Association, or at
least obtaining one member.
Annual membership $1.00
Life membership $100.00
Donations of any amount received.
Please enroll me as an Active Member of San Francisco Associa-
tion fot the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. I agree to
pay $ annually.
Mail to 1547 Jackson Street, San Francisco, Cal.